Blessings, yes there actually are some to a brain injury. Call them Silver Linings inside a dark cloud. Call them Brain Blessings. Call them Gifts of Adversity.And almost every blessing is the flip side of one of the difficulties of the brain damage.
I have written before about how I have no filters. Though that makes it near impossible for me to watch movies or tolerate any kind of conflict or drama, on the flip side there are benefits. The lack of filter also causes me to be much more impacted by beauty and moved by music.
Equally, the struggle to make sense of things – to connect the dots between thoughts and actions and actually accomplish a task seems to have created a different kind of connection. While listening to a moving piece of music I feel or see ideas for multidimensional art pieces. Sunday night I went to an amazing concert by Hanneke Cassel and her band. She has a wonderful piece called Scandalous. While I listened to it I could envision a piece that would include my fabric art with images and sound. Hard to explain here in words – hopefully I will someday create what I can see in my minds eye. (Click on Scandalous to listen it.)
Another mixed blessing is the issue of not being able to multitask. As frustrating and challenging as that is, it also has enabled me to be more attentive and present in the moment than I ever could be pre-brain injury.
The biggest blessings will probably end up being the changes that the brain injury is forcing me to make. I don’t think I am at the point of being able to explain what all those changes are yet. I am too much in the middle of rediscovering and reinventing myself.
But here are a few that I do know: I respect and honor myself and my needs far more; I can say No more easily. Previously I would have been driven by “shoulds” instead of what truly would be the best choice for me. I am far more compassionate and understanding with myself, and therefore with other people as well. As mentioned above, I feel more deeply. This depth and sensitivity of feelings is a rawness, an unmasked openness that I have not had in my life before; at least not to this extent. I tended to protect myself from vulnerability. Now that is simply not an option.